Monthly Archives: October 2012

Oh baby

Standard

Its 6:30am and we have been up for almost two hours this morning.  My sweet Viola has been trying to beat her 5:30am wake-up record and has succeeded with flying colors… 4:30am has been the new normal this week.  And as I continue to be optimistic about her reverting back to her normal crack-of-dawn wake-up time, I feel anxious butterflies in my stomach when I remember the pregnancy test(s) I took over a week ago. That’s right, Preggo again!

I told a friend of mine the good news, to which he replied, “are you ready?” That’s hilarious.  I’m reminded of the stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan describing what its like to have a fourth child:

It’s like when you’re drowning…and someone hands you a baby.

I do feel like I’m still drowning a lot of the time.  Its funny how my mantra for over a year has been: “One’s good.”…mostly due to the hellish labor and the high maintenance baby to follow.  I thought I couldn’t do the first year again, therefore lets stop at one…that was too hard.  But as my friend asked me to think about my “readiness”, I realized that giving birth and raising another infant didn’t scare me as much as the prospect of doing that with a strong-willed two year old.  That’s terrifying.  Even if the next one is high-maintenance, I won’t have the time or energy to cater to them like I did for Vi.

It is a good thing that it takes 8.5 months for a baby to grow, and Vi will be very different then.  I admit I am afraid of taking care of Vi during the pregnancy.  I have more intense nausea this time around with exhaustion upon exhaustion.  But we’re hanging in there.  My friend Courtney shared a blog yesterday written by a woman who overheard a very pregnant woman on her cellphone complain about her aches and pains and just wanting it to be over.  Here is her response:

I heard it all, and I sympathized.

But you know what I didn’t hear?

The miracle of feeling your baby writhe, confined so tight in your womb that he or she could barely wriggle. The beauty of sitting on the cusp of an expanded family. The glorious knowledge that God has used you to bring about one of His most awesome gifts. The anxious, gleeful anticipation of waiting to meet someone whose lungs have yet to even draw breath.

I didn’t hear any of that, and it pains me.

As a woman who longed for so many years to walk in those stretched out, swollen shoes of pregnancy, I am keenly aware of the blessing wrapped in a burden that is late pregnancy. The physical signs of impending birth are, to me, so poignant that I admit, I find very little to complain about. Knowing as I do the emptiness of arms unfilled, I sometimes have to step away from women who curse their own blessed state so that I don’t shake them.

 

At first I was irritated that she had a problem with women being honest about their “swell” state.  As someone who complains perhaps a little too much, I was rubbed the wrong way by her point of view, but I appreciate her candor. Especially after reading on:

There is much to be burdened by, yes. But sister, there is even more to be blessed by.

As I sat on the opposite end of the locker room bench, listening to you describe your body as “massive” and “disgusting,” listening to you announce how you couldn’t “wait for this to be over,” my mind went back years and years, to an experience I’ve all but forgotten. An experience with another expectant mother who had no idea that she was just hours away from meeting her baby. We had lunch, both of us pregnant, both of us nearing the end of the race. While we ate, my friend listed off the things she couldn’t wait to do without a baby growing inside of her. Drink a beer. Be intimate with her husband. Ride her bike. Ditch the maternity panties. Wear her favorite jeans.

Three hours later, at a routine check-up, she learned that her baby had died. She delivered a still little girl that night, and went home to a place where all of those things–the beer, the bike, the jeans– seemed empty and useless.

She would have given anything to have that baby back, safe, inside of her. She told me later–and I admit, I still didn’t get it for years–that she would do anything, anything to be that uncomfortable and full again.

She is absolutely right.  Even before I read this blog, I have been praying that God would help me see joy in every day.  The blessing that is happening RIGHT NOW inside of me.  Many people can’t even have children, and here I am blessed with more than I had planned or expected.  I think that’s pretty cool.

Great Expectations

Standard

I have been meaning to blog for awhile, but I guess I have been enjoying the fruits of a good nap schedule. Alas, however, the other shoe has dropped.  But I am still thankful for the time we had with two predictable and long naps per day.  And she is still more or less on that same schedule, but a lot has happened to shake up the whole thing.

So here I go…again…talking about my child’s sleep.  Again.  I’m boring myself.  The positive things that have been happening are that Viola has learned to walk.  Yay!  She has also remembered she can stand up in her crib and scream helplessly at all hours of the night until someone goes in and lays her back down.  She also cut her fourth tooth.  These shenanigans led into a little vacation weekend we had planned with a good friend in NC who has a boy four months older than Viola.  I wish I could say that it was a relaxing and bliss filled weekend.  Unfortunately Viola’s lack of sleeping, plus being in a new place created a monster…me.  I was irritable and hormonal and had a couple break downs and pity parties.  I was not gracious or patient, I was exhausted, frustrated, and Viola’s sleep did not meet my expectations.  Some of the best parts were after the kiddos went to bed and the adults could relax and talk (although it is pretty awesome seeing you and your college friend’s kids play together!).

The funny thing about expectations–once you adjust them, everything is different.  I had higher expectations for Vi since we had a couple months of awesome-ness.  Then I felt like we had a newborn again (NOOO!!!!!).  I noticed something interesting after the trip…how I was extra insane because I wanted everything to be smooth in front of my mom friend.  My self worth was wrapped up in how well I could manipulate my 13 month-old’s sleeping patterns.  Part of me wanted to prove I didn’t suck at this whole thing in front of another mom.  Thankfully, my friend is gracious and understanding, so its all on me and my pride.  Silly pride.

Thankfully the tooth has popped and Vi’s naps are improving again.  Her nighttime sleep has started normalizing again so I’m optimistic for tonight, but I’m trying not to raise my expectations too high.

I also began jogging again to train for my first 5k in November.  Then I got tendonitis and had to stop for two weeks to ice religiously.  That has added to my doldrums as of late, but I’m optimistic I can get back into it next week with a new pair of shoes.

Image